CLARKESVILLE, Ga. – The 60th AnnualMountain Laurel Festival, one of Northeast Georgia’s oldest outdoor festivals, took place on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Downtown Clarkesville. Vendors from all over the region brought their tents and set up shop on the square.
The spring festival takes place every May during the mountain laurel trees’ bloom that fills the hills of Northeast Georgia with pink and white blossoms, hence the name.
The event started off with the Mountain Laurel Parade that began at 10 a.m. and ended around 10:40 a.m. As the last in line made way toward the square, the crowd followed into the market tents and the streets were soon opened back up to traffic.
The event was the largest and parade the longest in recent memory. Despite the heat, there were easily thousands in attendance lining the sidewalks as candy was tossed into the streets for onlookers during the parade.
Much of the parade consisted of police, EMS, fire trucks, Shriners, various pageant winners from the area, and a number of company and local organization floats and vehicles.
Additionally, the Habersham Central High School Band marched and performed familiar fight songs loud and proud.
The expected 4,000 visitor mark was surely reached. The hundred or so tents were bustling as people flowed through, looking through and purchasing all sorts of typical Blue Ridge festival gifts. Many vendors sold woodworking, paintings, mock window art, prints, jewelry, political signs, non-political signs, clothes, scarfs, etc. A select few stalls were selling refreshments such as Philly cheesesteak, burgers, chicken skewers and lemonade.